Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Interview with Tinsel Teeth (Will)

Providence, Rhode Island's Tinsel Teeth are one of the few bands whose live performance has been tuned to match the intensity of their music - bludgeoning you with thick noise-rock and bizarre female vocals while throwing themselves into the crowd, soaking themselves in fake blood, props, skin, mayhem... all in the hope of entertaining YOU the fuck out. Bubba Crumrine catches up with Will for the story.  Their new official video for 'Stock Footage of Stuntmen' is at the bottom!

IU: Hey Will, you and Brandon were the founding members of the band, correct? How did Dave come into the picture and where the hell did you find such an amazing front woman like Stephanie?

W: Brandon and I met at work and started playing music together.  He and Dave had been in a band together called "Spheres" that broke up.  Dave was also Brandon's roommate at the time, so when he heard us playing in the basement and was into it, he just came down the stairs.  That part was pretty easy.  As for Steph... the first time we met her she was easily and instantly drawn into our web of spells and magic.  She has never been the same since.

IU: Did any of the blood, props, and nudity come first or did your live shows start out of the gate at the extreme level they're known and loved for now?

W: We did talk a lot at an early point in the band about what we wanted to see in a live show.  We were all bored with going to shows and not being entertained.  Not seeing the package of killer music and rocking the fuck out.  So it definitely became a focus for a Tinsel Teeth show to be a party.  Once we started playing out, the actual progression show to show to what you see now came pretty naturally.  I can say that one of the first 2-3 shows we ever played was at "summercamp" in Providence.  After we set up our gear we ran downstairs, took off all our clothes and covered each other in shaving cream.  That was a shocked crowd when we came back up and one hell of a show.  It's what I believe set the tone for Tinsel Teeth.    

IU: How much fake blood do you go through in an average year?

W: Too much, someone sponsor us.  I dare you. 

IU: Have members of the band (or gear) ever been subject to injury at the hand of the live show?

W: Oh yea, where do I start.  I guess the worst injury so far is when Steph got a million stitches in the bottom of her foot from stepping on a broken pint glass during a set.  There's been a shit load of bumps, bruises, black eyes, mainly to Steph.  Dave pulled his back out loading gear once, HA!  I saw Brandon fly straight back into his brand new amp and cab and knock the whole thing over, luckily nothing too bad happened there.  I've been run into a bunch of times, seal dived into once, I've broken countless cymbal stands from crowd surges.  Once I fell flat on my face from standing on my throne during a set.  It's on YouTube and hilarious. 

IU: Has the band faced any criticism from any organizations or groups? Seems like the provocative (tho seemingly empowering) nature of  of the performance could come under fire.

W: Unfortunately no.  That would be pretty awesome press though if some sort of group felt like the needed to criticize or protest us.  We were asked to leave the campus of Worcester State College after our set at a show there and I believe we are banned from playing at O'Breins Pub in Allston. 

IU: How did Horrible Fest go earlier in the month?

W:  Wild.  Cookout with "Mr. California", Hot tub on wheels in the back, vaporized whiskey, beat the shit out of a car that eventually got flipped over.  We love Now that's Class and Paul the owner.  Cleveland doesn't give a shit about anything and that's the way we like it.

IU: Any best/worst show/tour stories since we first started talking about bringing TT to Ithaca last fall?

W:  It's seem like there is always something wild happening in one way or another.  I'll give you a little story.  On our last tour we played "Cropped Out Fest"  in Louisville.  We had played outside, so after our set we headed inside to the bar where another band was getting ready to play.  It was some cheesy indie rock band or something, I don't even know what you would call them.  Anyway, near the end of their set the guitar player, this lanky oof dude, starts smashing his guitar into his head and got a big lash above his eyebrow.  Got taken to the ER and everything.  Came back with a bunch of stitches and tells us "I had to do something to try and one up you guys."  We all had the same thought later, are you mental?  One up us?  All we did is our thing we do without thinking all the time, and you had to the fuckin' go to the hospital trying to impress somebody/band!?!?!?  What a goddamn idiot. 

IU: 'Trash as the Trophy' has been out for a bit over a year now - how does the album sit in your minds with a year under belt to reflect on it?

W: I think 'Trash as the Trophy' is a great record and was a great step for Tinsel Teeth.  Now we are on to the next step.  Our band mentality, intentional or not, has always been to move forward.  We are always writing more songs, better songs.   

IU: How did the band get hooking up with the fine folks at Load Records, outside of just being from Providence?

W: Ben is a wild and a weird one, we love him and Lauren.  Seemed like a natural fit for us.  Ben is a somewhat accessible guy, we would see him around at shows in Providence.  He had seen us live a bunch of times, heard a couple demos and liked the newest at the time.  So, he just offered to put out our record.  We accepted.  Kind of happened as simple as that.  I guess we kind of bugged the shit out of him, now that I think about it.  So maybe, in our case, being from Providence was a big part of it.   

IU: You'd mentioned new material in the works?

W: Yes, a lot.  The best Tinsel Teeth stuff yet.  We will be playing some new stuff every night on tour.  Come check it out.

IU: Any final words for those coming out to the show?

W:  If you wanna party and have a good time, come on down.  We bring it every night.  Prepare to have a wild time.

Don't miss Tinsel Teeth live with DAADs, BEES///, and Hiroshima Vacation at the Community School of Music & Arts, 330 E State St / MLK Jr St, Ithaca, NY 14850 8PM $5